Chevrolet Colorado a good choice


THE Chevrolet Colorado is a great truck that can handle almost anything you throw at it. Its three available engines provide good power and above-average fuel economy. These potent powertrains also make the Colorado one of the class leaders in towing and hauling. Crew Cab models have a spacious second row that can comfortably fit adults, and there are plenty of tech features available across the various trim levels. Just be aware that the infotainment system can be sluggish at times.

The 2018 Colorado already looks like a deal compared to the rest of the class. However, some other compact trucks are worth a look, depending on your priorities. The GMC Canyon is pretty much a premium and upscale version of the Colorado, while the Toyota Tacoma has a better-equipped base model and leads the class in off-road ability. Both of those rivals cost more to start than the Chevrolet, though.

The 2018 Chevy Colorado is part of a generation that began with the 2015 model year. Other than adding some new engine options over the past couple of years, there have been no major changes. As a result, this review uses research and data from the 2015 through 2018 model years.

The GMC Canyon and the Colorado have the same lineup of engine choices, almost identical feature availability, and the same towing and hauling capabilities. The main difference between these two General Motors cousins is the cabin quality. The Colorado is nice enough for the price you pay, but the Canyon boasts more refinement and an upscale design, particularly in the Denali trim. Choosing between these compact trucks depends on whether you’re willing to pay a little more for the Canyon’s premium ambience.

The Toyota Tacoma is the most off-road-capable choice in the class. Its TRD Off-Road or TRD Pro models can handle nearly any terrain. These trims have a similar price to the Colorado’s off-road-oriented trims. With the Tacoma, you get great safety scores and standard features like Bluetooth, Siri Eyes Free, and a GoPro Camera mount. The Colorado has a slight edge when it comes to interior comfort, offering good rear-seat space. It also retails for thousands less than the Tacoma. If you’re looking for a truck to go off the beaten path with, get the Tacoma. Otherwise, you’re better off with the Colorado.

The Colorado gives you three engine choices: a 200-horsepower four-cylinder, a 308-horsepower V6, and a 186-horsepower turbodiesel. All three choices have their merits. The base engine is pretty efficient and a great choice for daily driving. The V6 has the best acceleration and provides good towing and hauling capabilities. The diesel engine delivers the best gas mileage of the bunch and unlocks the Colorado’s max towing capacity. The downside of buying a compact truck like the Colorado is that you won’t be able to get a big, burly V8.

The Colorado’s base engine is among the most efficient powertrains in the class. It gets 20 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway. But the available diesel puts it to shame, earning 22 mpg city and 30 mpg hwy.

You’ll spend about as much on gas each year whether you drive the Colorado or its brother, the GMC Canyon. However, you’ll save about $100 each year by driving one of those trucks over the Toyota Tacoma.

Rear-wheel drive comes standard in the Colorado, and four-wheel drive (4WD) is available. It delivers composed handling on winding roads, but it’s also maneuverable when driving around town. This Chevrolet’s ride is smooth – even when the roads aren’t.

The Colorado isn’t the best off-road truck in the class; that honor goes to the Toyota Tacoma. However, this Chevy isn’t worthless away from the pavement. There are two trims – the Z71 and ZR2 – that come with many off-road-oriented features like a more rugged suspension, hill descent control, a transfer case shield, and a locking rear differential. The Colorado also offers a two-speed transfer case and all-terrain tires.

The Colorado has excellent towing and hauling capacities. When properly equipped, it has a maximum payload of nearly 1,600 pounds, and it’s a class leader in towing, with a max capacity of 7,700 pounds.?

The Colorado seats two or four people in Extended Cab models, depending on the trim. Crew Cab models seat five. The front seats are spacious and supportive. The rear seats are only suitable for short drives in Extended Cab models, but adults can ride pretty comfortably in the Crew Cab’s back seat.

Colorado models with rear seats have two full sets of LATCH child-seat connectors. The system isn’t that user-friendly. You’ll have to fold the rear seats down to find the tether anchors, and rear-facing car seats won’t fit unless you move the front seats way up.

Colorado Interior Quality

Upscale is not a word that comes to mind when discussing the Colorado’s interior, as there are some hard plastics and other low-rent materials. But it’s still a nice cabin that looks good and remains quiet at highway speeds.

The Colorado is available with a 6-foot-2-inch Long Box or a 5-foot-2-inch Short Box. The bed is deeper than rivals’ beds, making it easier to haul bulky items. There are also a number of useful bed features, such as the EZ Lift-and-Lower tailgate, which can be operated with one hand.

Standard features in the Colorado include a USB port, Bluetooth, streaming audio, and a 4.2-inch display screen. Available features include satellite radio, a seven-speaker Bose audio system, navigation, Apple CarPlay, a Wi-Fi hot spot, wireless phone charging, and the MyLink infotainment system with a 7- or 8-inch touch-screen display.

The MyLink infotainment system is user-friendly, and there are physical controls for audio and climate functions as well. The touch screen responds slowly to inputs at times, but it works well otherwise.

The 2018 Colorado is part of a generation that typically earns a predicted reliability rating of 3.5 out of five from J.D. Power and Associates. That’s an above-average rating (three is average for all vehicles).

Chevrolet backs the Colorado with a three-year/36,000-mile basic warranty and a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty. Many other compact pickup trucks have similar warranties.

The 2018 Colorado earns four out of five stars in overall safety from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Despite receiving five stars in the side crash test, the Colorado has lower crash test scores than many other trucks.

A rearview camera comes standard in the Colorado, as does Chevrolet’s Teen Driver system. Teen Driver lets you set speed and audio volume limits for other people driving your truck. Available active safety features include forward collision alert and lane departure warning.

There are several Colorado trims available. Before you choose one, you must decide which configuration you want. There are two cab options (Extended and Crew Cab), two bed lengths (6-foot-2-inch and 5-foot-2-inch), and three engine options (four-cylinder, V6, and diesel). Not every combination is offered for every trim.

If you plan to regularly go off-roading, then the 4WD Z71 and ZR2 are the trims for you. If not, the LT makes a terrific choice. It costs much less than the off-road specialist trims, it’s available with all three engines, and it offers pretty much every comfort and convenience feature you can get in a Colorado.

The base Colorado has a starting price of about $20,000. It doesn’t offer any notable features beyond what comes standard, and it’s the only trim with no rear seats.

The Colorado WT (Work Truck) doesn’t come with any extra features. It does offer some option packages though. The Custom Special Edition package includes OnStar, styling upgrades, and the MyLink infotainment system with a 7-inch touch screen. The WT Convenience package ($490) adds keyless entry, cruise control, and an EZ Lift-and-Lower tailgate.

The Colorado LT has all of the WT’s features plus keyless entry, satellite radio, and an upgraded MyLink system with an 8-inch touch screen. The Luxury package adds a power-adjustable passenger seat, heated front seats, and automatic climate control. The LT Convenience package includes remote start, the EZ Lift-and-Lower tailgate, and a sliding rear window. The LT also offers a few packages with bed features (like a cargo divider), as well as several styling packages. The Colorado Z71 comes with an off-road suspension, a locking rear differential, a transfer case shield, automatic climate control, a power-adjustable passenger seat, and the EZ Lift-and-Lower tailgate. Option packages in the Z71 are limited to ones that add bed features and styling upgrades.

The Colorado ZR2 is another good choice for off-roading. It’s also the only trim that’s unavailable with the four-cylinder engine. It comes standard with the 308-horsepower V6 and an eight-speed automatic transmission. Other standard features include several styling and performance upgrades, such as the Off-Road Appearance package, an off-road suspension, increased ground clearance, 4WD, and all-terrain tires. There aren’t many option packages available, though a couple do add bed features.

The 2018 Chevrolet Colorado is a good truck that delivers a terrific blend of capability and efficiency. It has a comfortable interior and many tech features, as well as one of the lowest starting prices in the class. It only finishes in the middle of our compact pickup truck rankings, but its scores are right up there with the class leaders’. All in all, this truck deserves consideration from every compact pickup shopper. — SG

“Bringing a smaller-than-full-size and larger-than-compact platform makes the Colorado a popular choice. With engine choices of gasoline inline-4 and V-6 and 4-cylinder turbodiesel, plus a maximum tow...more

“The smooth-riding and well-equipped 2017 Chevrolet Colorado is a solid offering in the midsize truck segment. It’s not the best choice for heading off-road or for ultimate...more

Edmunds (2017)

“For non-truck people like us who might need the cargo or towing capacity, [the Colorado and Canyon] are the best alternatives to bulky, hard-to-maneuver rigs that take...more

Right now, the Chevy Colorado is the second best-selling compact pickup truck behind the Toyota Tacoma. Last month, Chevy dealers sold 11 percent more Colorado models than they did during the same interval a year ago. — SG